This year: Sunday, January 01, 2017
The French celebrate the arrival of New Year as St. Sylvester's Day. The feast of this saint is on December 31, thus coinciding with the biggest holiday of the year. Both New Year and Christmas are family holidays, but in France people usually do not stay at home to celebrate it.
For the French the most appropriate place for the New Year party is some cozy cafe, restaurant or a night club where they get together with their friends. The holiday dinner is delicious, every one has fun, makes jokes and dances to the music. One of the French favorite New Year party entertainments is lottery. Very often they wear funny pointed caps and throw confetti or hairpin bands at each other.
There is an old tradition to adorn the table with a mistletoe branch. According to a legend this tree brings luck. And in small French villages, if you are going to visit your friends on the New Year's Eve, do not forget to get the "New Year log", which is also the symbol of warmth and prosperity. The three winter holidays - Christmas, New Year and Epiphany - form the holiday cycle that is usually called "the twelve days of Christmas".
New Year in France is a true rave of haute cuisine and culinary fantasies. It is impossible to imagine a French New Year menu without the well-known French champagne, a lot of fruits and vegetables, green salad, smoked salmon, fresh-grain caviar and of course, "fois gras" (the world-famous goose liver paste). The typical first course dish is roast turkey with red huckleberry, followed by oysters - the national pride of the French. You can also see other dishes on the feast menu: blutwurst sausages, roast goose or turkey, fried pork head, peas, beans, lentil, nuts, chestnuts, milk flat cakes, candies. The most popular wine is cooled Chablis.
As for the gifts, there are no special New Year presents. But it is never a bad choice to give any funny, nice, unusual thing.